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Thinking about the first question, Rhea knew why she was defending him, why she needed to defend him in her own mind, but it was a lot to explain. And quite frankly more detail about herself than she wanted to go into at the moment. [+lightcoral “I suppose that is just who I am as a person.”] She shrugged with the comment. However the second, more brazen claim coming from her pink haired friend was a little harder to swallow. [+lightcoral “No, that is not it.”] That being that her and Dante’s relationship wasn’t the stem of this choice for her.
It was difficult for Rhea to remain calm. She wasn’t feeling particularly angry or anything, just that she felt like she needed to remain composed or else Tera would latch on to whatever it was and cut even deeper than she was already trying to. In her current state, it was not easy. [+lightcoral “It is just that I have chosen to judge Dante based on his action after I met him. As far as I am concerned he isn’t the same person he was back then…”] It actually went a few steps beyond that, but for now that was really all she needed to say about it. [+lightcoral “He may be distant, but he cares deeply for those he has surrounds himself with. You’ve known him longer than I have, so I am sure you’ve noticed it yourself.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Tera shook her head lightly as the woman took her seat, feeling like her quite blunt response may have warned her off coming to talk.[+red “If we all know what its about, not much to talk about..”] She mumbled and lifted her drink to take a healthy swig. Her eyes screwed tightly together as the brutality of the alcohol hit her system and she took a moment to regain herself. Jax meanwhile supped from his pitcher in silence, knowing this was adult talk time.
Listening to Rhea was not something she wanted to do, not during drinking time, but Tera was respectful in her sullen state and let the white haired Pyrenian finish entirely what she had prepared. Staring at her drink she sighed.[+red “So it's a terrible secret, an utter betrayal, and you think we aren't being stupid in how we reacted,”] large brown eyes looked up to meet the red of Rhea,[+red “so why are you trying to defend that... killing machine?”] Her head tilted to the side a little, eyes flicking back with her interest. She followed up swiftly.[+red “Is it because you two are fucking? Is the sex really all that good that you're gonna overlook what he is?”] Tera was a dangerously brutal and honest person, Rhea would know this.
Rhea found that she could think of a million different things to talk about, many of them were important some of them not, but she had to stay focused because only one of them was something she actually came here to discuss. That being said, she still wasn’t entirely sure how to say it, so for now she just took the offered seat.
There was quiet for a moment, it gave her time to smile at Jax who despite his best efforts was still peeking over to her from his pitcher-sized drink. [+lightcoral “I think you know why I am here...”] It should have been fairly obvious to all other than Jax who might have been considering that she had join their small group of runaways. [+lightcoral “I want you to come back, but I also want you to have a chance to talk about what you are feeling. We discovered something quite terrible about someone close to us, a secret we might have been better off not knowing…”] Certainly Dante would have preferred to keep it that way. [+lightcoral “And that can be a lot to process, it can feel like a complete and utter betrayal, something that makes you want to cut ties and run, which is an entirely valid response.”] She hated to admit it, but there were times when it was best to cut your loses and get out of there. [+lightcoral “But I also don’t want you to overlook or discount everything that you two and Dante have been through together. Those feelings of trust, almost like being a family, those were real and I think they count for something. So, even though it is hard I want you to actually think about it, please… and I am here to listen if you need someone to talk to while you sort it out.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Tera and Jax had been sat in sullen silence for as long as they had come to this tourist trap bar. It's prices were a little extortionate, haggled down a little when a pissed off anthro had threatened to unleash a large and sombre giant upon them. Not wishing to have their premises rampaged through by a visible agitated behemoth, they had offered a free first drink and promised cheaper drinks for their stay. The others in the bar paying the full price would more than make up for it.
When Rhea had approached, the pink haired woman's head was turned down, staring into a concoction of energy drink and alcohol that was not had a pitcher in hand, filled with a sugary juice solution that would keep him content for a while. Indeed he was the one who first saw the rose skinned woman, eyes lighting up for a moment before he glanced to Tera, taking her lead and looking down at his lime green drink, though he continued to look over to Rhea, unable to fully play to the role he had been told to play.
Glancing up from her own beverage Tera looked like she had expected this to happen, and gave a gentle roll of her shoulders.[+red “What's there to really talk about?”] She sounded defeated, which was a step up from angry at least. There was little hostility in her voice but it was also devoid of her usual enthusiasm. Knowing Rhea wouldn't leave, she waved a hand to the empty seat opposite the duo.
She may not have seen him, but Rhea did catch the gist of what he said as she left. The simple miscommunication made her smile. One final happy send off as he put two and two together with what she actually meant and then she was out of earshot. There was quiet so long as she was on the ship. Nothing had the usual hum. It wasn’t until she was out and off the port that the buzz of life around her continued. After running a muck of this whole town trying to find someone to help Dante, she had a decent mental map of this place. That gave her a rough idea of the direction her friends might have gone. Rhea ventured off in the direction of the bulk of the inns, knowing there was more than one place to get a cheap drink in that area.
This wasn’t exactly a tourist destination. There was little in the way of a friendly city layout for travelers, but this particular area was slightly easier to navigate knowing that it was where the strangers would stay when they came. That also meant there would be vigilant eyes in the crowd. Cunning business owners trying to lure weary travelers into their establishment, they saw every detail. And so, Rhea started to ask around if anyone had seen a giant of a man accompanied by a woman with pink hair. Chances were good since they naturally stood out from the crowd. And luckily, it only took talking to a handful of people to get a solid lead. Even if Tera and Jax stood out, it was in her best interest not to.
Eventually she found a busyish sort of place with a nice atmosphere. That being it was not so packed or rowdy that someone like Jax wouldn’t be able to sit back with some juice in front of him, which is exactly how she discovered him. The large man was set up at a corner table and Tera was at his side. Rhea couldn’t tell what was in the glass in front of her, but her guess was that it was stronger than the sugary concoction that sat before Jax.
Taking in a deep slow breath, Rhea approached the pair. Nervousness pulled at her stomach, she still wasn’t sure just what she was going to say. It was difficult to know what Tera needed to hear right now in order to come to terms with what she discovered. So, for the time being she kept relatively open. [+lightcoral “Can we talk?”] The woman’s voice was soft and full of legitimate wonder as to whether the pilot would agree to hold a conversation with her. It was probably pretty obvious that she was going to ask her to return to the ship with her, back to Dante who turned out to have a much more stained past than anyone anticipated.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Neither party seemed particularly keen to end this kiss and on Dante's part he could quite easily progress this further. His hands had begun to slip lower, his temperature gauge in contrast rising more and more. The decency of fornicating upon a kitchen table in the open was not as much a concern right then and there but thankfully Rhea's common sense saw through and she was able to restrain herself. Her profession of love was rather sweet and adorable given how it came out of the silence and between warm airy breaths.[+royalblue “I love you too.”] The smile was reflected back at her though it wavered a touch when she wiggled and set herself free.
Hands grasping the edge of the table he smiled as she toyed with his legs and he could read the restraint in her words and her looks. He nodded that he would do what he must with the system checks and watched her lean in with amused golden eyes. At the mention of make up sex his brow rose sharply though she was already turning to get moving, not wasting anymore time it seemed.[+royalblue “Like.. lipstick and mascara? Do I wear it or-”], seeing as she had already turned she may have missed the very puzzled look on his face, followed by the hesitation and subsequent realisation of what she meant.[+royalblue “Oh… oh! Well, yes, please?”] She was gone by that time and he was left to sit and run through his internal memory scans. After a few moments he shook his head clear and pushed off the table. He had scans to make.
As to be expected, having him like this only made her drive to stay here and throw all caution of time restraints to the wind stronger, however that was not all it accomplished. Rhea also worked out something of a deal with herself. If she spent this time now it would fill an imaginary gage. This happy moment with him would fuel her through the time apart, which was likely to be unpleasant. She still didn’t know exactly what she was going to say to Tera, Rhea only prayed that she could find the right words and that those words would be enough.
Slowly but surely, the small woman was replenished. It was difficult to pull away, but eventually she halted her lips and looked up at his pale blue features. Her hand came slowly down from his face to rest on his shoulder as she took just a few more seconds to look at him. [+lightcoral “I love you.”] The proclamation was quiet, almost as if she hadn’t meant to say it out loud, but the words slipped through in her distraction. Her own ears were surprised to hear them, but it brought a smile to her face. It was exciting to share her feelings again, even if it wasn’t necessarily on purpose or was obvious from the situation. This last push of energy was enough to set her into motion.
Wiggling, Rhea signaled that she wanted to be released. Once she was free she slid off of Dante’s lap and stood before him. Even with him sat down she still had to look up at him. Being short, she was used to it though. [+lightcoral “Alright,”] she placed her hands just above his knees, squeezing them lightly. [+lightcoral “I am going to start my search. Hopefully I won’t have to be gone for long.”] Both because they needed to leave this place soon and because it was dangerous for her to be outside of the ship at all. [+lightcoral “You do what you need to do too.”] She nodded up at him, she was more determined than ever. Her hands gripped at him just a little but tighter and she leaned in slightly as she continued to speak. [+lightcoral “Then later after you’ve got the ship running perfectly, and I have brought Tera and Jax back...”] She spoke confidently as if there was no question in her mind that that was how it would be, but it was really a ploy to try and convince herself it would be so. Rhea was trying to give herself something to look forward too after all this talk of doom and gloom to come. [+lightcoral “We are going to have the best make up sex ever, so be ready!”] Even as someone who had little qualms with the topic of sex, this was forward. It brought a hint of color to the woman’s face, but she was tired of getting nothing but longing. And besides, everyone basically knew about them now anyway. There wasn’t anything to try and hide anymore. They could spend time alone if they wanted to. And did she ever make it clear that that was what she wanted.
With that done and out of the way, the red-eyed woman let his legs free and set out. Rhea had her hood in place before she was out of the room. She had some friends to find.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat His navy lips parted momentarily, an airy chuckle as she teased about his response. Whilst being stuck like this forever would be easy for him from a physical point of view he was quite sure she would be driven mad by the lack on activity and deprivation of life in general. Constantly Dante was finding ways to draw contrast between himself as a Synth and others as living beings. As impossible as it sounded, he had to not think about it and instead just try to live more by the day. For a creature of logic and calculations it was a tough task but a fascinating one to see if he could do so.
This is what led to him simply bowing to her demand from further affection, lips meeting hers as they had a dozen more times before. It was swift and fleeting, as he had thought she preferred, though as he went to move away her hand seized his jaw and he was held in place. It was difficult not to think of anything at all in that moment but after a few milliseconds, an eternity in a mind such as his, his body lost some rigidity and his hands squeezed her sides in an appreciative yet endearing manner.
Yes they were against a clock and could hardly spare any time, but some things were now given more importance than time. He would find time, gain it back from somewhere between now and that mythical 'then' they were so pensive about. From that mindset he pressed into the kiss a little more, pausing to allow her a breath though his chest pressed against hers and somewhere his eyes had closed over. Fingers pressed securely against her as the kisses became shorter but more abundant and evidently more starved.
To be fully enrapt in his cool but comfortable arms only made it all the more difficult to even consider pulling away from him. His words drew her in as well, conceding to her wants and desires. Rhea became suddenly aware that she could probably have whatever she wanted from him here and now, which was above all else tempting, if not tantalizing. [+lightcoral “That is a dangerous offer to make, love.”] Still her words were whispered. In this proximity there was little need for more. [+lightcoral “You might just be stuck here forever.”] This was of course a hyperbole. Though, perhaps in his case he really could sit there forever, unlike her who would eventually need to eat or sleep or fulfill some other task warranted by organic life. She wondered if she were like him, some created being, if they could just never let go of one another. It was strange for her to try and look forward into infinity, even if it was merely a hypothetical impossibility.
It was Dante’s lips on her forehead that pulled her back to reality. Her eyes closed as she accepted his gift. She did not open them again until he pulled away, but then her affectionate gaze was glued to him. Without a word she craned her neck, signaling that she wished to be kissed again, this time on the lips. Once obliged, she slid one hand up and to his face where she would gingerly cradle his cheek. Normally, Rhea was not one for long drawn out kisses, however this was a rare exception. The woman allowed her lips to move slowly over his, drawing out their moment together with none of the urgency a person in her situation should have felt.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat She was becoming quiet and more hands on – quite literally – which Dante recalled from their time at the holiday home meant she was feeling either apprehensive or worried. Although this whole expedition to find the data and the mother crystal and stopping the Termani was all her plan, this small Pyrenian was often loathe to make decisions that could harm others. She was a pacifist if ever he met one. As his question earlier had shown she would even permit the Termani to live, she just wanted them off her planet.
Thoughts like this ran through his electronic mind with several other branches of questions; where to begin the system check; did he still possess the warming booth he had made to house the twins the last time their 'cycle' had began; if Tera and Jax refused to return then how would this impact their plans; and many more that were trivial and menial. It was a part of being a synth that he could not turn off and remove as he had his emotions. There were limitations to how 'alive' he could make himself. And yet as she clasped onto his shirt he felt his processors slow and his thoughts began to unify onto just one; how do I make her happy?
Rather than plan and strategise what the best way to make her happy was he instead swept his arms around her as she did him, one moving up to cup the back of her head to gently glide cerulean fingers through her hair, the other stroking along her back as he had come to do often.[+royalblue “I have wasted enough of everyone's time, so take all that you need.”] He spoke quietly and fell to pressing his lips against her warm forehead. Given how things had gone that last few days he owed her whatever she wanted for still being sat her with him.
Rhea was sad to see him deflate so; he was exceptionally handsome when he was sure of himself like that. Dante wore cockiness well; however, she was not going to tell him that. Crystal forbid he find out and let it go to his head. Still, the woman was glad to see that he saw her point despite her sassing him back. As his hands fell back to her side, she shifted slightly, letting herself fall against him more naturally. Like this she listened to his take. It was a relief to hear that there was something they could do. Rhea did not have a mind for these technical things and so it seemed like an impossible task to her, but he quickly saw their options. She nodded along with them. [+lightcoral “I don’t see that we have any other choice.”] Unless they wanted to be caught just as soon as they came within range of Pyreen. [+lightcoral “We are going to have to make it work in the time we have.”] That essentially meant they had no time to waste whatsoever. She had been wanting to give Tera and Jax some space to cool down, but it seemed they wouldn’t have that luxury. And as she recalled, Dante had tests to run on the ship before they could get moving as well. They both had things they needed to do, but even still the roseate woman was having a very difficult time mustering up the will to move away from the Synth.
Stalling the inevitable, her words came down to a quiet whisper. [+lightcoral “I know we should get on with it, but I just want to be here with you.”] Her words were warm and airy, almost as if there were a sign behind them begging to be let out. Arms worming around him, her fingers tangled into his shirt. She was like a child who refused to let loose her favorite blanket even though she was being told to clean her room so the day could move forward.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Immediately things got off on a bad footing as she derided him for being so smug and condescending. He had not sought to be such but often people viewed different actions in different lights so it was understandable she may perceive him to be acting with assurance. And that air of extremely assured reasoning fell away in moment as she snatched back her hand.
The comment on paying for the cloaking device would be broached later, as she assuaged her desires by pointing out just why this was a bigger problem than he was taking it to be. His smile fell away and the playfulness in his eyes drifted soon after. Looking at her only a few moments longer his golden gaze drifted to the small gap between their bodies.[+royalblue “Shame mode engaged..”] He muttered like a shamed child apologising for breaking mothers favourite vase. The discontent in his voice stemmed from his inability to have recognised such an obvious point. He could blame it on his recent resurrection but that would have been a false truth.
Not wishing for her to feel pity for him – or at least not too much, as she was often prone to emotional responses – he let his vacated hands drop to her slender hips and pull her just that touch closer. They were sat in a rather unique manner and yet the only way to make it more comfortable would have been to lift her up. Maybe soon.[+royalblue “To counter that advantage, we need to find either a way to stop them scanning us, which would involve destroying every single scanner on or near the planet. Or we remove the Odyssey's data from their network. And whilst that is simple in of itself, it would require linking up to their network via a level four workstation on a Class M station.”] She was bright enough to understand what that meant so he did not find need to go over it once more in detail.[+royalblue “We are on a relatively tight deadline now – do we have time to make that detour?”]
Eyes narrowed and nose wrinkling, her expression lie somewhere between irritation and a pout, leaning more toward the latter than the former. [+lightcoral “Excellent deduction Mr. Sass, but that is only half of the problem.”] Rhea resisted the urge to jab him in the side. It would have been light and playful, but with him still recovering it would not have been the wisest of moves. [+lightcoral “I’m going to be the one paying for that damn thing, of course I didn’t forget it…”] That was more a grumbled throw away comment to vent than an actual point of contention for her. [+lightcoral “As long as they still have that port onboarding and departure scanners running it won’t matter if they can [i see] us or not. They will link up to us regardless. And since you’ve visited before the ships data will be in their archives.”] She distinctively remembered the girls hacking into it to alter the number of occupants aboard the ship after they found her stowing away. It was all rather stressful, everything that happened to her that day was.
Watching as he took her hand and placed the softest, most delicate, little smug kisses to her digits, she let out an exasperated humph. [+lightcoral “Oh no you don’t”] The petite woman pulled her hand back to her chest. [+lightcoral “I am not going to let you get out of this with a couple of kisses, no matter how sweet and cute you know you are.”] It was quite clear from the expression in her fiery eyes that she was more upset at having to pull away than him actually trying to distract her in the first place.
[+lightcoral “I am just saying it is something we should think about. If we don’t we will be stuck landing elsewhere on planet and it will be much harder, not to mention more time consuming, to get your techy friend into the main city hub.”] The longer they were on Pyreen the more time there was for something to go awry. Rhea hoped to avoid that at all costs. It might have been a pipe dream, but she hoped to get everyone on and off planet safe, sound, and with all the data they came for. Go big or go home, right?
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Whilst his gentle touch did help alleviate or distract from some concerns it was not a bulletproof measure as shown by her query about the tight margin for error. He shrugged lightly, more so as a means of not answering the question directly. It was dangerous yet the plan was dangerous as a whole. But whilst he could mask any trepidation or concerns, she wore hers in plain sight.
It was hard not to give her the answers or the reassurance she was looking to him for. It was a problem he had orchestrated since meeting her as he had perhaps been too helpful. He had given her sanctuary on his ship, taken her to Atlas and when she had fallen ill – at his fault also – he had given her as much care and help as he could. In a way he had made her reliant upon him by being her home, her job, her friend and lover. She was a free spirit, a living being, and hopefully after all this passed then she would be free to open up and dictate what she wanted rather than having to listen to what he said.
Her question of a ‘blaring problem’ was good for them to move forward though he looked at her immediately with both a quizzical and a bemused expression.[+royalblue “Really? You think that is a problem?”] Sounding so sure of himself, a touch smug even, his brow rose questioningly of her. His hand on her hip slipped off to take her hand, lifting it up slowly to kiss the back of her fingers.[+royalblue “Sorry, I’m being rude.”] She’d have to teach him manners and etiquette when this was done that was for sure.[+royalblue “Did you forget that Atlas installed a cloaking device on the ship?”] Letting the question hang a second he pressed another delicate kiss to her fingers.[+royalblue “Of course after the wormhole I’ll have to do a thorough sweep of the system to make sure it is okay and hasn’t overloaded.”] From death to now he had not made any queries, inspections or conducted diagnostic checks on any part of the ship. But again he played it off as if he had, for her sake.
Having neither a background in engineering or physics, there wasn’t much that Rhea could do to check Dante’s calculations. She would need to take him at his word and trust that he had not missed anything. But this wasn’t just going to be any old day on Pyreen. It was be hotter than normal and she worried about that, more importantly, she worried about him. Even with how meticulous he was. [+lightcoral “That is cutting it awful close, isn’t it?”] A six-degree buffer was not a lot when he was already relying on extra cooling support. but then again most of their time would be spent in the much cooler underground, so if they played their cards right it would probably be alright. They just needed to avoid any delays on the surface.
Her brain was running to think of ways they might be able to streamline the process all the while his hand moved over her back. It had the intended calming effect, but it also served as a distraction to her thinking. Rhea was not certain if it was more of a help or a hindrance. In the end she allowed him to continue despite knowing it was a diversion to keep her attention from the curtain shrouding potential disaster. The woman was desperate for touch and attention, which was probably obvious by how she had dragged their conversation out. Even with less than pleasant things. A trend she would continue. [+lightcoral “If you really think it will be alright, I will trust you. You know yourself better than I do when it comes to these things.”] It was difficult to leave it at that, because she also knew he was prone to self-sacrifice. The red eyed woman was not much a fan of that part of him. [+lightcoral “But there is one other blaring problem... We’ve already been boarded by the Termani military once. They know this ship. We are not going to be able to get it within a lightyear of that planet. Let alone try and dock to the Pyrenia port. We are going to have to come up with other options.”] For the life of her Rhea didn’t know what they were, but there had to be something.
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